For years we've been hearing that Episode III is going to be the darkest chapter of the Star Wars saga, and if the soundtrack is anything to go by, that promise is about to be fulfilled in spectacular style.
John Williams' score is a far more sombre affair this time. Of course, there are still the rousing battle themes such as 'The Revenge of the Sith' and 'Grievous and the Droids', but the majority of the material here is shot through with a mixture of overwhelming evil and tragic despair. The main new theme, 'Battle of the Heroes', is a perfect example; menacing and exciting, but with more than a hint of sadness running through it. For those like me who love 'Duel of the Fates' from Episode I, there's plenty of the same spine-chilling choral work, and the emotive 'Across the Stars' also appears in some of the more melancholy moments. As this film forms the link to the original Star Wars trilogy, it's good to see some old favourites making a reappearance, most notably 'The Force Theme' and the 'Imperial March'. The End Credits piece also raises a nostalgic tear to the eye with excerpts from 'Leia's Theme' and 'The Throne Room' (although surely not all this will be heard on screen - the credits can't last for more than eleven minutes, can they...?)
Far from 'dropping the ball', John Williams has produced a work which easily exceeds the other two Prequel soundtracks, although it cannot match 'The Empire Strikes Back' - surely the finest soundtrack ever produced. As for plagurising elements from a lesser composer's work on a lesser film, the idea is risible. It's a marvellous album, and promises a thrilling, emotional journey come May 19th.
My only complaint is.. why only a selection from the film? Whay not the full, double-CD treatment? Hopefully an 'Ultimate Edition' will appear at a later date (although the full Episode II soundtrack still hasn't appeared). Nevertheless, this is essential listening for Star Wars buffs and anyone with an interest in terrific film scores.
on 19 April 2005
I found this album to be far suprior to both of the prequel soundtracks. It is far darker than all previous films' scores and will capture the films epic duels perfectly. The track 'Battle of Heroes' is marvellous and really captures the feoricty of the fighting.
I bought this with drooling anticipation (naturally) and to be honest I did feel slightly disappointed intially. I suppose because after William's previous efforts, this did not seem to have that Star Wars WALLOP I'd become accustomed to.
Fortunately, I WAS WRONG! This is, as I suggest, a real 'grower' and the themes just get better and better after each listen, so much so that this is just an addictive soundtrack that I rate right up there with the best. There are subtleties here among the more familiar themes (Williams relies on the Force Theme as well as Luke and Leia's Themes, and of course Vader's March) but tracks like the absolutely stunning Anakin's Betrayal flesh out the musical language of Episode III.
The new theme, Battle of the Heroes, is at first seemingly not as striking as Duel of the Fates, but listening to this and the album highlight Anakin Vs. Obi-Wan reminds you that Williams is a quiet genius at integrating themes of doom and tragedy for this final chapter even while he is injecting (a new) hope through familiar themes and weaving a totally masterful Star Wars listening experience. An absolute must-buy, rewarding you on many levels and after many listens. This demands, and deserves, your full attention.
on 27 March 2014
the reason why You should buy this album is not only the great john williamsn who does it again, but the dvd is fantastic ... this is something that every star wars fan should haven, even, those who don't like star wars, but like good soundtracks would be amazed by this fine piece of work
on 4 May 2005
I've been waiting for this since i heard the music with the full trailer and i can tell you now that if 'Duel Of the Fates' was your bag 'Battle of the Heroes' on this soundtrack is gonna blow you away both musically and emotionally. Other Tracks to look out for are 'Anakins Betrayl' and the 'New Hope and End Credits' track which contain nearly all of the key elements from the entire saga.
The DVD is also exceptional with Ian McDiarmid presenting some the best combinations of music and excerpts from the saga in 70 minutes of musical and visual delight and if you haven't already seen the 'A Hero Falls' music video on Star Wars.com it will give you some more insight into the film its self without totally spoiling it such as 'Duel of the Fates' did.
on 25 April 2005
Wow - what a great soundtrack! This is easily the best Star Wars soundtrack since Empire Strikes Back, and the best soundtrack for any movie for quite a while. For once in a SW score, Williams' non-thematic material is just as beautiful as his themes. "Anakin's Betrayal", "Anakin's Dark Deeds" and "The Immolation Scene" are absolutely stunning pieces of music, to contrast with the tragic and sometimes horrific images that will be seen on screen. "Battle of the Heroes" is a wonderfully epic new theme, right up there with Duel of the Fates, and there are brilliant reprises of all the best themes. The Imperial March makes an appearance several times, there is a haunting and beautiful statement of the wonderful Across the Stars in "Anakin's Dream", and the soundtrack ends brilliantly and triumphantly with Leia's Theme, Luke's Theme and the Force Theme. Words really can't express just how good this music is. There's no Duel of the Fates or Anakin's Theme, but according to the official website we can look forward to them being in the movie - and hopefully, eventually on a 2-disc soundtrack release as well. This set will also include an extra bonus DVD with music videos from the whole saga, introduced by Ian McDiarmid - surely the greatest freebie ever.
Overall, a stunning score for what is shaping up to be one of the best, if not the best, Star Wars movie of all. Whatever you thought of The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones (I personally adore both of them - Return of the Jedi is the only weak and disappointing Star Wars movie), this is the one everyone's been waiting for, and just like the screenplay and the novel, this soundtrack does not disappoint. Roll on May 19th!
on 10 July 2015
'Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith' was the last film of the prequel trilogy and we were promised that the film's score from John Williams would be one of the darkest in the saga. Well, it certainly turned out that way and, all things considered, I think it is excellent stuff.
However, I will begin this review by discussing the negatives first. The main problem I have with the CD is that it is not presented chronologically and this is something that irritated me very quickly. For example, 'Battle of the Heroes' is the third track on the album while 'Anakin's Betrayal' is fourth, but 'Anakin's Betrayal' occurs earlier in the film. Similarly, the track 'Palpatine's Teachings' is the sixth track on the album and that definitely appears earlier than 'Anakin's Betrayal' or 'Battle of the Heroes'. While this may not bother most of you, those of you who know your Star Wars films and scores well will be a little disappointed by this. Secondly, this goes without saying, but surely John has more in his locker? What I mean is this is not the full score. Instead, you get a one disc album with a kind of best of compilation from the film. One final flaw would be that some of the tracks sound too familiar, even identical at times to each other, but with John Williams scores, that is par of the course, so it's not really a big deal.
On a more positive note, the highlights to this soundtrack are absolutely excellent. What I really enjoy is just how dark this score actually is. We were promised this, and Williams very much so delivered it. Most to all of the tracks on the album have a very ambiguous, brooding feel to them. Highlights for me include 'Battle of the Heroes' (which acts as the new 'Duel of the Fates', but doesn't come close to matching its impact), 'Anakin's Betrayal' (with its haunting sense of utter despair), 'Palpatine's Teachings' (which starts as a low choir piece and then morphs into 'The Imperial March', very creepy), 'Anakin's Dark Deeds', 'The Birth of the Twins/Padme's Destiny' (possibly my favourite track of the whole album, full of sadness and morphs into 'Qui-Gon's Funeral' from Episode I) and 'A New Hope/End Credits' (starts off with melancholy, but gradually builds into a little bit of everything, check it out!).
So, to conclude, the 'Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith' soundtrack is excellent stuff all round. We were promised a dark score from John Williams; you can certainly say we got one. This is without question one of his darker works, but taken for what it is, it works very well. Yet, despite all of this, the question still stands, surely John has more in his locker? It's been 10 years since this soundtrack was released. Is there an Ultimate Edition on the cards? Mr. Williams, make it happen, sir.
Despite my nitpicking, this comes highly recommended.
Thanks for reading. I hope it helps.
on 2 November 2005
Easily being the most anticipated soundtrack of the year, Revenge of the Sith was at the top of the list of my must-buys. Battle of the Heroes obviously stands out as the new theme of the movie (not as accomplished as 'Duel of the Fates' in my opinion) and its phrases of choir and good old-fashioned Williams' brass carry quite a bit of power. However, this and most of the disc's other themes seem to appear briefly and kept to a few tracks so there's quite a bit of non-thematic variety here, especially 'Palpatine's Teachings' and 'Padme's Ruminations', which feature lots of continuous droning, quite unlike previous Star Wars scores.
One of the highlights is 'Anakin's Betrayal', a track similar to 'You are the Pan' from 'Hook' that is full of tragedy and endlessly playable. There is plenty of sorrow in this soundtrack such as 'Anakin's Dream', 'The Immolation Scene' and 'Padme's Destiny' and it really does give you the sense that things are looking bleak. The CD then ends full circle with a welcome return of themes from 'A New Hope'.
Overall, the CD is okay but suffers a little from the bad editing that plagued the original release of 'The Phantom Menace' and it's obvious that a lot of the tracks were just not intended to be presented this way. It does have fortune of growing on you after a few listens and it gets a lot of bonus points for a superb extra DVD that revisits all the great themes from the saga. As a two-disc set, it's a great buy.
on 11 August 2014
This soundtrack has many moving songs such as "The immolation scene" and "Padme's Destiny", as well as the more 'action style' tracks like "Anakin vs. Obi-Wan" and "Battle of the Heroes". A beautiful soundtrack from a good film!
on 23 January 2007
The final film; the final soundtrack. The soundtrack to end all soundtracks - the film finished on a flourish, as I left the cinema, i thought this is will be the soundtrack to have, what with the entire 'battle of the heroes' and the music when Anakin saunters up the steps of the Jedi Temple to wipe them all out.
So imagine my dissapointment. Every other Star Wars soundtrack (except episode 2, which, frankly, is no big deal) has a complete recording (and I have them all!).. not this one. The tracks are music from some of the key moments.. but is missing big chunks and other themes, like Anakin's march into the Jedi Temple. 3-stars 'cos its Star Wars and should be punished for not providing the complete score, gone are the days when a Star Wars product should automatically get a 4 or 5. My faith is lacking.. disturbing.. George Lucas, end it with a complete score, please!